Britain Today: Born black, White or Brown - Does it Really Matter?


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Dr Yvonne Kelly’s main research interests include understanding the causes and consequences of health inequalities. As a principal investigator, she leads two projects within the ESRC International Centre for Lifecourse Studies in Society and Health (ICLS). One study is investigating the ways in which economic, psychosocial and biological factors influence early childhood health and development using data from the UK Millennium Cohort Study (MCS). Another study examines how aspects of parental investment and family environment combine to influence child health and well being, and this work uses data collected from the 1958 and 1970 British Birth Cohorts and the MCS.

She is also the principal investigator of an ESRC-NIH funded project on a UK-US comparison of ethnic inequalities in child health and development; this research builds on previously funded work that investigated early life health and development among children from ethnic minorities in the UK. The focus of this work was on the relative contributions of biological, psychosocial, economic and cultural factors to ethnic differences in infant and early childhood health and developmental outcomes. Another major research interest is on the links between aspects of early life environment such as alcohol consumption during pregnancy, birth-weight and infant feeding and later health and development.

Currently she is a Senior Lecturer and Graduate Tutor at the UCL Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.Dr Kelly teaches on the MSc Society and Health course. Her focus is on social and ethnic inequalities in child health. She supervises PhD and MSc students.

About this lecture:

People from certain ethnic minority groups living in the UK are at increased risk of disease and death compared with the majority population, but the reasons for these patterns are not known. It is also not clear at what point during life such differences begin to appear could this be as early as childhood or even infancy? This lecture looks at the origins of ethnic differences in health; are they genetic, behavioural, or socio-environmental?

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